A good way to determine the best bridal gown preservation technique would be to check with museum textile conservators to see how they preserve heirloom garments and what their recommendations are for bridal gown preservation. But who has the time?
That is why we have done the research for you. We have consulted with museum conservators at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and summarized the information they gave to us.
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has a wonderful collection of gowns that are hundreds of years old. The dresses in storage are hung on padded hangers and covered with cotton sheeting to protect them.
Garment preservation at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. is similar. Heirloom garments that are not currently on display are cleaned and carefully stored in climate controlled conditions. Most dresses are hung on padded hangers, while some garments are laid in drawers or acid free boxes with acid free tissue. Sharp creases are avoided, as they can damage fabric. To keep the folds from becoming permanent creases, the garments stored in boxes or drawers are refolded into a different position every few years.
Neither of these museums seals any of their heirloom garments. Museum conservators discourage sealing any garment in any container for three reasons:
Museum conservators recommend keeping heirloom garments: clean, cool, dry and wrinkle-free.
Why Preserve Your Gown?    A Case Study
Determining the Best Gown Preservation    Gown Cleaning
Gown Preservation    Gown Preservation Options      Summary    Heritage Garment Preservation